Los Angeles officials want property owners to put houses for homeless people in their backyards according to the Los Angeles Times.
The county Board of Supervisors approved a $550,000 pilot program to build a handful of small backyard houses, or upgrade illegally converted garages, for homeowners who agree to host a homeless person or family.
Then in February, Bloomberg Philanthropies awarded L.A. a $100,000 Mayor’s Challenge grant to study the feasibility of backyard homeless units within the city limits.
While the idea of backyard homeless units might seem far-fetched, officials hope it could be a fast and relatively inexpensive way to house the most stable individuals among the 58,000 homeless people in L.A. County.
A prototype backyard unit with financing and design sponsored by Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Innovation Team is rising behind Trent Wolbe’s house in rapidly gentrifying Highland Park.
Backyard units expand housing options without compromising the character of the region’s single-family neighborhoods, the mayor’s design consultant said.